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Tournament Reports

Decision on Borgata Counterfeit Chip Investigation is Here! DGE Ends Waiting Game

Wendeen H. Eolis

Wendeen H. Eolis

By Wendeen H. Eolis

Minutes ago, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported  at its website its  final order arising from its investigation of the Borgata counterfeit chip debacle in January of this year. Last Friday  PPN  provided an overview of the outcome of the order which was in place. then and has  been disclosed to the public, today.  To summarize: counterfeit chips were introduced into the Borgata Winter Open tournament's first event. The DGE canceled the event upon determining it had been compromised and has scrutinized the entire matter coming up with the terse order that can be seen here: The terse order can be seen here:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/2014news/BorgataWinterPokerOpenFinalOrder.pdf

The Borgata has issued a statement that fleshes out the order, providing details concerning disbursement of monies.  It clarifies that players who did not cash, but may have been affected by the introduction of counterfeit chips will be refunded  their relevant  buy-ins; players who did not cash and were never exposed to the introduction of the counterfeit chips will not receive any refunds, whatsoever.  Players who were awarded prize monies but didn't pick up  their pay will also get their monies. The full Borgata statement can be seen here:

http://blog.theborgata.com/

Borgata Senior VP,  Joe Lupo,  is quoted as explaining  that the Company is distributing all of the unpaid prize pool money and also voluntarily disbursing to players the revenues earned from buy-in fees. While the DGE order includes the latter, a reading of the order confirms that the revenues earned by Borgata  that were included in the disbrsements came about from consultation with Borgata and not from an independent order on the part of the DGE.

Predictions:This means some 2100+ of the 2800+ players (for the 4800+ buy-ins)  in the tournament will probably be pretty happy,  presumably as  will those who cashed down through 28th place who have been or will be paid per the advertised allocation of prize monies. They all earned their awards prior to a determination of a compromised tournament.   Additionally, those in the second and third tier of the top 27, will probably  find the payout livable as the disbursement is equal or greater than  the original allocation for those spots.  As to the top nine, sparks are sure to fly, but as to whether it will be sound and fury signifying nothing or a colossal headache for DGE and Borgata remains to be seen.

It should be noted  DGE's delay in getting out its report after it allowed  many people to learn that it had been completed resulted in massive leakage, and significant misinformation that circulated for days. This state of affairs did  not help to soothe ruffled feathers of those who are unhappy.

Last Friday all eyes were on the DGE after the regulators sent up white smoke signals that resulted in alerting  executives at multiple casinos of an imminent decision.   By late afternoon the smoke turned gray—without explanation. No announcement materialized until today.   DGE’s further delay was almost inevitable, given its history in this matter; over the past weeks there have been several false alarms of an imminent announcement sounded by  DGE to many parties with close ties to the regulators.

No matter how well reasoned by DGE  the last bit of delay left Borgata personnel with their hands full--not only with new procedures but also with an onlslaught of queries  by frustrated tournament players--the entire weekend. 

Was the DGE miffed by news of their deliberations leaking out to the public (against their preference) slightly before they were to take the stage?  

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Kevin Elia Wins Maryland Live Main Event

Local Kevin Elia from Baltimore took home more than $55k and the first-ever main event poker title to come out of the state of Maryland. Kevin battled a field of 131 players in the Maryland Live! Poker Classic $3,500 main event. Kevin played a solid 3 days of poker outlasting some great local talent along the lines of Christian Harder, Anthony Gregg, James St. Hilaire, Richard Smith, and World Series Main Event Champion Greg Merson. It was a roller-coaster ride for Kevin who found himself the chip leader at the final table when discussing an 8-way chop. When all the numbers were written down Kevin agreed to take home $50k for being the chip leader and then all 8 players agreed to play a $1k sit and go for the trophy and then title of Maryland Live! Poker Classic Main Event Champ. After all eight had taken their seats in the sit and go it fired off, dropping one by one until only Kevin was left standing. All 10 players who made the final table were locals from the Maryland and Virginia area. This was a great success for Maryland Live! Casino and poker in the state of Maryland. Be on the lookout for a repeat victory from Kevin when Mayland Live hosts another tournament series in July 2014.

Linsford Geddes Takes Home Mohegan Sun Spring Showdown Championship

The $1100 Main Event with a Guarantee of $150,000 had 204 players. We saw a variety of New England tournament players such as Tarun Gulati, Thomas Hogland, Raj Patel, Mark Epstein, Stacey Sullivan and many tournament players participate in the Spring Showdown’s main event.

On day 2, a total of 48 players remained and at closing we saw Linsford “Teddy” Geddes taking home the 1st place prize of $47,787.

Rebecca Carabino, Mohegan Sun’s Tournament Director, is working on the Summer Showdown series which will begin in late July 2014.

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Lumiere: Robert ‘Uncle Kruck’ Panitch Wins WSOP-C Main Event

Robert ‘Uncle Krunk’ Panitch earned his second WSOP Circuit ring the hard way—after a record-setting heads-up match that lasted nearly ten and a half hours. The win was good for $137,283.

The 62-year-old from Northbrook, IL, came out on top of a field of 416 entries to lock up a repeat appearance in the National Championship. “I’m not even tired...this woke me up!” he commented shortly after the win. “I want to be mentioned in the same breath as Stan Musial”. “I started out winning every hand,” he said referring to his quick dispatching of the 4th and 3rd place finishers about ten hours earlier.

The heads-up match lasted so long, it gave Panitch “enough opportunities to catch a card” he said. “I’ve blown so many big stacks lately”. On Friday, the first starting flight of the Main Event, Panitch was at the final table of Event 8, practically tied for the chip lead with three players remaining. An ill-timed bluff cost him his stack and he busted out of that event in 3rd place. He went straight to the cage and entered the Main Event and the rest is history.

Canterbury Park: Scott Carolan Wins Minnesota State Trophy

Largest Field in Five Years!

Canterbury Park hosted the annual Minnesota State Poker Championship. The tournament had 217 entrants with a total prize pool of $210,490.00. After two Day 1’s, Scott Carolan of Farmington MN took home the trophy, $54,728.00, and the title of Minnesota State Poker Champion. Scott was undoubtedly assisted by his lucky “Minnesota Poker Hall of Fame” T- shirt.

Majestic Star’s Poker Tour Offers a Sweet Chunk of Change

by Bob Popper

Majestic Star Hotel & Casino’s Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) event attracted a wide variety of players to the felt in Buffington Harbor during the first week of March. The tourney featured players from the United States, and a number of international contestants all battling for the top prize.

The March 1-9 MSPT tourney structure had a two flight main event system with a buy-in of $1,100. In addition, they had super satellites costing only $60 with a healthy 20% of the field advancing to a $250 satellite. The top 20% of that category would advance to the main event, which pitted a field of 301 hopefuls.

Majestic paid out 36 spots from the field of main event combatants. The final table started on Sunday, March 9 at 8 PM and lasted almost 5 hours before the last 3 players took home their share of the prize pool. Brian Zimcosky lasted long enough to capture third place and take home $28,141 followed by Leon Morford who tucked away a nice $42,401 for finishing in second place.

The tournament winner, who took home a sweet chunk of change was Kenneth Baime. He pocketed $77,681 for his first place finish.

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Matt Bond Wins First Ring Awarded at Lumière

The first-ever WSOP Circuit ring awarded at Lumière Place Casino in St. Louis goes to Matt Bond of Irving, Texas for winning the opening event,$580 No Limit Hold’em.(Matt’s first name is Justin,but he goes by middle name Matt.) He came to the final table second in chips and battled headsup for nearly two hours before getting the last of Peter Nigh’s chips with A9 dominating Nigh’s A3.Bond collected $17,779 for the win. Nigh, who was the chip leader at the start of the final table, picked up $10,989 for second place.

This event drew 127 entrants for a total prize pool of $63,500. The final 15 players got paid. Two time WSOP Circuit ring winner Tim Vance was in the starting field along with Palm Beach Kennel Club Casino Champion Jeff Gunnip and single ring owner DJ MacKinnon.They all failed to make the money. None of the player sat the final table owned any WSOP or Circuit bling.

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Thunder Valley: JC Tran Wins 2nd WPT Title

Tran has won quite a bit playing tournament poker over the years, and his career earnings now stand at $11,214,250 according to Hendon Mob poker database. He now has 14 cashes at WPT events and he has won $3,440,918 on tour (12th all-time), but this cash so close to home has to mean a lot, even to a poker player who has accomplished so much in his career.

At a certain point Tran began building a dominant chip lead and it proved too much to overcome, even after Harwell doubled up on the 198th hand of play. On Hand 207 Tran knocked Harwell below 10 big blinds, and a short time later it was over.

On Hand 211 Harwell moved all in preflop for 1,125,000 and Tran called. The two players tabled their hands and Tran had the lead with K4 over Harwell’s 85. The final board was dealt 642109 and Tran won his second WPT title. Harwell was eliminated in second place after a solid run in the tournament and he took home $200,030 for his impressive play at the final table.

Tran adds $302,750 to his sizable career earnings. He also gets a $15,400 seat in the season-ending WPT World Championship, a special edition pair of 24K Monster headphones, and his name will go on the WPT Champions Cup for the second time. Congratulations to JC Tran on the hometown victory. The next tour stop will be the WPT Jacksonville bestbet Open that runs from March 21-25.

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Foxwoods Poker Classic - She Lok Wong takes Championship Trophy

By Rhue R. Reis  [Pictured left to right: Sam Hadded, She Lok Wong, Mazen Neshiwat]

3-Way Agreement Leaves She Lok Wong With Championship Trophy and $95,000

The $2,700 No Limit Hold’em Main Event at the 2014 Foxwoods Poker Classic had 226 entrants start play on Friday battling it out for a piece of the $548,050 prize pool. Eighty-two returned at noon on Saturday for day two action. Play continued for just over ten hours before the money was reached, and another two hours before play was over for the night with thirteen players remaining. Play resumed at noon on Sunday and in two hours, the final table was determined. Seven hours of final table action culminated with the final three reaching an agreement that gave Mazen Nesheiwat of Poughkeepsie, NY $84,125 for 3rd, Sam Haddad of Westwood, MA collected $92,434 and the Commemorative Watch for 2nd, while She Lok Wong of Forest Hills, NY garnered the Championship Trophy and Top Prize Money of $95,000.

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Matthew Lapossie Wins CN$363,197 at Fallsview

After a tough three-day battle at Fallsview Casino, Matthew Lapossie from London, Ontario, emerged victorious from the final table as the 2014 Fallsview Poker Classic WPT $5,000 Main Event champion on Monday, earning first prize of CAD $363,197.

Lapossie will forever be part of the WPT Champions Club as he etches his name onto the prestigious WPT® Champions Cup. The final table took just over nine hours to play from ten players down to a winner. Toronto’s Dylan Wilkerson collected the CAD $254,238 second-place prize and Mississauga’s Jason James finished third taking home CAD $163,439 for his efforts.

The $550 No Limit Hold’em WPT Main Event attracted an entry field of 383 players and a prize pool of CAD $1,729,510 with 45 players making the money.

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